Have you ever had the unfortunate experience of having your credit card declined while paying for dinner after a day of shopping, or worse, being declined while on vacation in a foreign country? There are several reasons for a credit card to be declined and it isn’t necessarily because you’ve reached your credit limit. It would be helpful to know some of the things that could cause your credit card to be declined so you can take steps to prevent it.
Expired Credit Card
One of the most common reasons that credit cards get declined is because it has expired. You can easily miss the notice to renew your card in your mail. Maybe you just completely forgot about it. You could make a note on your calendar and mark the date when you need to renew your credit card to avoid embarrassing situations next time.
Credit Card Blocked by Issuer
When you use our credit card for hotel accommodations, the hotel may request your credit card company to block your card from further use. This is done to ensure that your balance can cover your accommodations, meals, and other expenses incurred at the hotel. You can rack up quite a bill at hotels and spending more for shopping or car rental can eat up the balance on your credit limit.
This can become a problem especially if you are travelling abroad. Many people rely on credit cards when they travel. You can request your hotel or credit card company to lift the block order, but sometimes it may take days before the card can be usable again. The credit card company may remove the block order if they see that the hotel bills were already paid with cash or other means. A good solution to this predicament is to bring along 2 credit cards and using one for hotel, car rental and airline expenses. That leaves another credit card free for shopping, meals, and emergencies.
Let’s say you rarely use your credit card or typically just use it for groceries on weekends or meals during your work days. One day you suddenly go on a shopping spree and purchase a new flat screen TV, a laptop, and clothes. At the end of the day, you decide to cap the day with a nice dinner at your favourite restaurant and find out that your credit card has been declined for a $40 dinner bill. You know that you still have a balance of over $1,000 after your shopping spree.
You may have reached your daily limit, but not your monthly credit card limit. Sometimes, banks impose a daily limit to protect you from fraudulent use. Sudden spending sprees in large amounts may trigger alarms and suspicion of stolen credit cards. Your credit card agreement may state something about a daily limit. If you plan to do some major shopping, it’s best to call your credit card company in advance, and inform them that you plan to spend a large amount that day.
Damaged Credit Card
If you leave your credit card or purse under the sun or inside a hot car for hours, the extreme heat can leave the credit card’s magnetic strip damaged. Demagnetization can also be caused by your wallets magnetic snap. Avoid buying wallets with magnetic snaps and leaving your credit card or purse under extreme weather conditions. If you notice that your card seems worn out or warped, you can request for a new card even if it is still years or months away from the expiration date.
Missing Your Monthly Payment
You rarely use your credit card and you know that you still have $2,000 left to spend before reaching your credit limit. Why was your card declined for a $100 purchase? The reason for this could be your failure to give a monthly payment. Although you are far away from your credit limit, your credit card company expects some kind of payment before the monthly due date. In the event that you are going to be out of town on business or a long vacation, call your credit card company and ask them if you can pay your monthly bill when you get back. You can also pay early, before leaving for a trip.
It’s rare but it does happen. Credit card machine malfunction may be the guilty party and not you. Sometimes the bank’s system may be offline and the store’s credit card machine can’t connect to your bank’s system. You could request the store to try swiping your card after a few minutes. If that still won’t work, then the store manager or clerk could call your credit card company to verify your account.
Declined Credit Card for Online Purchase
If your card got declined online, a possible reason for this could be mismatched information. Maybe your billing address is different from your credit card holder’s address. It’s possible that you typed in the wrong 3 digit code (CID). This problem could have been caused by a simple typo error. Try it again a couple of times and if it still won’t work, there could be another reason for it.
When your credit card is declined and you know you have enough funds or have paid your bill, ask the establishment for the error message that appears on their machine. Get in touch with your credit card company or bank and ask why your card was declined and what the error message or code means. Find out how this can be resolved and when your credit card will be usable again. It may have just been a simple mix up or slip on your part like missing a payment or forgetting the expiration date.